Want to find ways to save time and money during tax season? Here are some quick accounting and tax tips for making it fast, easy and affordable to complete your taxes and make sure you’re not leaving extra money on the table.
1. Shop Around to File Your Taxes Online
Still going to see an accountant in person every year? Don’t be afraid to shop around online and change it up. TurboTax, H&R Block, and TaxAct are just a few of the companies offering online tax filing solutions. Free federal and state online filing options may be available to you depending on your total adjusted gross income, your military status, or your eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit. If you need to go with a more robust, paid version, keep a close eye out for promotions and online discounts that can help bring the cost down.
2. Make Tax-Planning a Year-Round Habit
Keeping organized and complete records of receipts, invoices and other relevant documents can help save time when you are ready to file your taxes. If you haven’t done so in the past, now is the time to start saving those receipts and keeping better track of where your money goes for next year. Did you know that if you’re unemployed and looking for a new job, you may be able to deduct job-hunting expenses? Or, if you move for a job, those costs can be deductible too. In some cases, even your medical expenses can be tax-deductible.
Of course, don’t forget about that student loan interest either, and current students may also qualify for education-related tax credits or deductions. Luckily, the software mentioned above can walk you through claiming many of these credits and deductions as you file. The catch? You’ll need to make sure you have the paper trail to back up your claims.
3. Become a Tax Expert Yourself
This option won’t be right for everyone, but if you find yourself enjoying planning and filing your own taxes, why not consider pursuing a career in accounting? The BLS predicts an 11% job growth for accountants and auditors by 2024—a rate faster than average growth anticipated across occupations. On average, in 2015, accounting professionals had an annual wage of more than $67,000. The best part is you can skip paying someone else to file your taxes and even earn extra income during the tax season by offering your services to others.
At a minimum, accounting and auditing positions typically require a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Other employers prefer applicants with a master’s degree in accounting. To become a Certified Public Accountant, you’ll also need to pass a CPA exam as well as meet your state requirements. If you’re serious about preparing for a career in accounting, South University can help. Call 1.800.688.0932 or request information today to learn more about our online and campus-based Business Administration and Accounting programs—including a new, online BS to MS in Accounting dual-degree program.